Tom Kalinski, RE/MAX of Boulder

Tom Kalinski, RE/MAX of Boulder

When selling your home, make sure it shines before the first prospective buyers lay eyes on it. A few inexpensive preparations will give your home that added appeal that a buyer can’t resist. In fact research shows your home will sell faster and for more money.

Use these savvy tips from to ensure your home makes an excellent first impression to potential buyers.

Stash stuff When selling your home, make sure it shines before the first prospective buyers lay eyes on it. A few inexpensive preparations will help add appeal.
Disorder is a buzz kill during a home showing or open house. Extra clutter makes any room look small and uninviting, especially for potential buyers looking for that perfectly inviting space.

This is the time to get rid of stuff. Alleviate your home – and your mind – from the old video game cartridges, tools in the kitchen, coat rack in the garage, and other stuff that accumulates over time.

But how can you start this daunting task? Go room by room and box up everything you haven’t used or worn in six months. Persuade yourself to let stuff go. You may be surprised how little you miss.

Clear the kitchen counter
Nothing is more beautiful than a clean, clutter-free kitchen. Remove everything from your kitchen counter but the coffee maker. Potential buyers will think, “Wow, such a huge kitchen!”

Put away personals
Allow home buyers to see themselves living in your house by removing framed photos, mementos of the past, or beloved collections. You can pack them up and store them until you reach your new home.

Clean out closets
When removing those personal items, dash the thought of stashing them in a closet. Buyers peak into closets to check the storage space, so you want the impression to be clean and open. Before showing your home, clear out all except a few items that “should” be in that closet. Leave only the amount that fits loosely and easily.

Stage your home to sell
Give your home the edge over others on the market with proven techniques that make your home look spacious and inviting. For instance, make ceilings look taller by hanging curtain rods higher. Make a room appear bigger and brighter with a well-placed mirror.

Experts say a home feels more spacious when there is more floor space and windows aren’t blocked. Push the furniture pieces out and away from each other and closer to the walls while keeping window space clear. Always follow the “less is more” rule and remove extraneous items.

Remember to conceal flaws with small changes. If the view from the window is lacking, mask it with sheer curtains.

Paint your walls white, layer in neutrals and add pops of color with pillows to make your home feel contemporary, fresh, and give it that cozy glow.

Pay attention to curb appeal
Check your home’s outside appearance and freshen where needed. If the paint is dull or dingy, try a power wash. If that doesn’t make it sparkle, perhaps it’s time for a new coat of paint.

Put a fresh coat of paint on the front door. Be sure the hardware glistens and is in good order.

Even in winter, the yard must look great. Trim overgrown trees back. Cut away branches that touch the house or darken a window. Freshen the yard with shrubs and flowers. The perfect winter additions are evergreen boxwoods and holly bushes.

And be sure to mow the lawn before showings.

These steps will make your home charm prospective buyers so they will want to move right in. Plus, it will be camera-ready for online photos and social media posts.


By Tom Kalinski. Tim is the owner and founder of RE/MAX of Boulder, the local residential real estate company he established in 1977. He was inducted into Boulder County’s Business Hall of Fame in 2016 and has a 40-year background in commercial and residential real estate. For questions, e-mail Tom at [email protected],
call 303.441.5620 or visit